Mikel Arteta has been overseeing an Arsenal rebuild since taking the reins in 2019.
There have been some successful moments but largely Arteta’s tenure has been a difficult one with most Gunners supporters growing restless at the time in which it is taking to get Arsenal back to regular winnings ways.
One area that has been a concern for Arsenal during Arteta’s time in charge is the defence.
Arteta is targeting Ben White this summer in a transfer that could equate to £50million.
It doesn’t say a lot for William Saliba’s hopes of breaking into the Arsenal starting XI next season, but it does say Arteta is still unhappy with his Gunners defence and keen on reinforcements.
Arsenal’s defence has arguably been the club’s weakest position for the past few years; even towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s long reign and during Unai Emery’s brief period in charge.
And one transfer that appears to have hurt Arsenal retrospectively is the departure of Laurent Koscielny.
The Frenchman was a safe pair of hands during his time in north London and offered stability when many of his centre-back partners were unable to for Arsenal.
Koscielny left Arsenal during Emery’s time in charge and did so under a dark cloud.
“I can understand that Arsenal fans did not expect me to leave,” he told Canal+ when reflecting on his exit. “Nobody expected it.
“To put it simply, I was not happy as I was on the first day I signed. And with my family, we needed to go back to France and have a new challenge.”
On Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inheriting his armband, he added: “I’m happy for Aubameyang, and for his role as captain. I wish them all the best, even if they are in a difficult period.
“But this is where we see a team and a collective ready to fight together and bounce back.”
As aforementioned, Arteta never got to work with Koscielny – at least not as his manager – but he could have done with his defensive stability while he’s still figuring things out for Arsenal.
The Gunners were punished one too many times last season from errors leading to goals, conceding five times in the Premier League after relinquishing possession too easily.
And unless Arteta signs a new rock at the back for Arsenal this summer then the club could be facing another disappointing season.